Our test is structured to get to that answer. With the rifles, we spend most of the first couple of days of our weeklong evaluation shooting them off the bench. This helps us gather baseline data on accuracy and allows us to make note of any significant issues with basic functions, like loading, feeding, action smoothness, extraction, ejection, and trigger pull. Our standard of multiple 5-shot groups in succession stresses the rifles and reveals which rifles can, literally, take the heat. Our accuracy scores are based on the average of the 10 best 5-shot groups measured, which is a fair representation of what a gun is capable of doing.
While critical, this is only a small portion of the equation that goes into the grades you see presented in the charts.